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Journey to Texas, 1833Journey to Texas, 1833

Detlef Dunt

Narrated by Thomas D. Hand

Available from Audible

Book published by University of Texas Press

In 1834, a German immigrant to Texas, D. T. F. (Detlef Thomas Friedrich) Jordt, aka Detlef Dunt, published Reise nach Texas, a delightful little book that praised Texas as “a land which puts riches in the immigrant’s lap, which can bring happiness to thousands and to their descendants.” Dunt’s volume was the first one written by an on-the-ground observer to encourage German immigration to Texas, and it provides an unparalleled portrait of Austin’s Colony from the lower Brazos region and San Felipe to the Industry and Frelsburg areas, where Dunt resided with Friedrich Ernst and his family.

Journey to Texas, 1833 offers the first English translation of Reise nach Texas. It brings to vivid life the personalities, scenic landscapes, and customs that Dunt encountered in colonial Texas on the eve of revolution, along with his many practical suggestions for Germans who intended to emigrate. The editors’ introduction describes the social, political, and economic conditions that prompted Europeans to emigrate to Texas and provides biographical background on Dunt and his connection with Friedrich Ernst. Also included in the volume are a bibliography of German works about Texas and an interpretive essay discussing all of the early German literature about Texas and Dunt’s place within it. Expanding our knowledge of German immigration to Texas beyond the more fully documented Hill Country communities, Journey to Texas, 1833 also adds an important chapter to the story of pre-Revolutionary Texas by a sophisticated commentator.

This edition has been edited by James C. Kearney and Geir Bentzen; translated by Anders Saustrup.


“Dunt’s firsthand observations of German and other settlements in pre-Revolutionary Texas are extremely valuable, and made more so by his efforts to explain to Germans matters that might seem ordinary and thus literally unremarkable to North Americans.”

—James E. Crisp, Professor of History, North Carolina State University, and author of Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy CrockettéÄôs Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution

“Vivid reports on everyday life in the first Texas settlements.... Texans specifically will find this documentation of the earliest years of development toward the Republic of Texas to be of interest. There is also a large population of German Texans ... no longer conversant in German, who will welcome this publication.... Dunt’s book will take its place at the very beginning of the chronological list of similar works and will help us to understand the influence his reports on Texas, as well as his advice to the Germans planning to come to the area, really had.”

—Meredith McClain, Associate Professor of German Emeritus and founding director of the Southwest Center for German Studies at Texas Tech University and of the TTU Center in Quedlinburg, Germany

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